JK Molds investing in Calif. expansion
UPLAND, CALIF. - JK Molds Inc. is creating a bay and adding radio-frequency-identification tracking while reducing costs.
In April, the firm eliminated 10 positions "to remain competitive, reduce overhead and improve profitability" on annual sales of more than $6 million, President Patrick Elliott said in an interview at JK's 25,000-square-foot facility in Upland. JK employs 25.
"We wanted to become more lean," said managing partner Jason Van Noy.
To support its mold-making activities, JK allocated space for a new technical center and began in-house injection molding in January. Now, the firm operates four presses and may buy more before year's end. JK molds samples for customer marketing trials and does limited production runs on a 400-ton all-electric Nissei, two 100-ton hydraulic Engels and a 40-ton vertical hydraulic Engel.
JK implemented the bay for a turnkey medical job and aims to ship the entire project - including press and mold - to the customer before the end of 2006.
JK's next step in coming months will add ProfitFab RFID technology and the automatic ability to track component and machine times. The presence of semiconductor chips on the routing sheet and employees' badges will change the way work is punched in. The reusable tags can be programmed for new jobs.
About 95 percent of JK's output involves molds for medical, implantable and drug-delivery devices. Within that market, the firm is finding increased demand for liquid silicone rubber molding and has outfitted one of the 100-ton Engels with a fluid automation pump for LSR.
Consolidation shuts Synventive operation
'S-GRAVENDEEL, NETHERLANDS - Hot-runner supplier Synventive Molding Solutions BV said it would halt production at its plant in 's-Gravendeel.
Now the firm's European manufacturing operations will be concentrated instead at its facility in Bensheim, Germany. An unspecified number of employees lost their jobs in the restructuring, which was expected to be complete by the end of May. The plant employed about 55 in production.
Synventive, based in 's-Gravendeel, is consolidating operations because of a competitive environment in Europe and stricter lead- time and quality requirements.
Some of its Dutch workers were considering a move to Bensheim as the company awaited formal agreement from Netherlands authorities.
Sales, service, engineering, and research and development will continue at 's-Gravendeel. Synventive makes melt-flow control and custom hot runners and temperature controllers for injection molding. Its other plants are in Shenzhen, China, and Peabody, Mass.